Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Choi Hyuck (Korea)
263. The representative of Brazil, associating himself with Argentina's statement, said that there were enduring concerns that the TRIPS Agreement might not be a development friendly agreement. It had imposed a number of burdensome and complex obligations on developing countries since it had entered into force. In making strenuous efforts to comply with its terms, Brazil had had to cope with numerous economic, social and administrative costs. After the advent of the Agreement, Brazilian imports of certain IP protected products from developed countries had increased by over 1,000 % in a period of under ten years. Given that this was the situation in Brazil, a middle-income developing country, he said that it would be hard to imagine what kind of a burden would be placed on LDCs if they were now required to begin to implement all provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. Therefore, he encouraged all Members to agree to the request that the delegation of Zambia had made on behalf of the LDC Group. 264. He added that, in practice, the Agreement had not been helpful to developing countries. When these countries had raised development related concerns with respect to the Agreement and the intellectual property system in general, e.g. in the field of biodiversity, they had been told that these concerns were not entirely relevant to the Agreement. When developing countries had called for the incorporation of a development dimension and development agenda into the IP system, they had met with what seemed to be a self-serving dogma and unfounded assertions to the effect that IP protection and in particular stronger IP protection were automatically conducive to development and to the transfer of technology. Such assertions, however, flew in the face of the historical record and of the experience of developed countries who in the past had utilized extensively weak IP protection regimes in order to develop a proper technological base. These assertions had also been contradicted by numerous empirical studies that had been conducted in recent years, including those that had been referred to by the delegation of Argentina. 265. In concluding, he said that it was time that the international community, including the WTO, took adequate measures to ensure that the IP systems included a development dimension. The adoption of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health was important, but there were many other things that could still be done. In this regard, the request made by Zambia provided the WTO with another valuable opportunity to demonstrate that it was not insensitive to the needs and concerns of developing countries and in particular, LDCs.